Parker girls rebound with victory over Sun Prairie
That gives you a good idea what it was like for Sun Prairie High School’s girls basketball team Thursday night when it faced an agitated Janesville Parker, which was coming off a loss to Middleton two nights earlier.
Not only did the Vikings lose sole possession of the Big Eight Conference lead with that setback, but they also may fall from the No. 1 state rating.
So someone was going to pay. And it was the Cardinals who absorbed a 63-34 beating in Big Eight action that enabled Parker (17-2) to remain tied with Middleton for first place at 14-1 with one game to go.
“All we wanted to do was come here and play hard,” said Parker coach Tom Klawitter. “It wasn’t about Xs and Os. It wasn’t about anything else but coming in and playing hard, and I thought we accomplished that.”
Klawitter called it a satisfying victory with 10 players contributing points.
“I thought all the girls really competed hard, and there were a couple times even at the end when they scored, where we came right back and took it to them,” Klawitter said. “But the best part of the game tonight was the defense.”
Parker fell behind right away on Paige Albi’s basket, but Catie O’Leary’s three-pointer got the Vikings rolling. O’Leary, who matched her uniform number in points with 22, followed with an inside basket and then hit another three-pointer the next time down the floor as Parker went on a 10-0 run.
Freshman Danielle Flood, who came off the bench and scored 14 points, also contributed to that early spurt.
Sun Prairie (7-8, 8-11) came in without two starters. Junior Alyssa Chase was in street clothes after suffering a head injury the previous game against Janesville Craig, and junior Allie Granitz was at home with an illness. Junior guard Erica Renz, although starting, saw limited time due to illness.
Parker’s pressure and swarming defense limited Sun Prairie to just two field goals in the first quarter as the Vikings pulled away to a 16-4 lead.
Flood provided the majority of offense for Parker in the second quarter with seven points, including a three-pointer. Sun Prairie again managed just two field goals as the Vikings extended their lead to 28-11 by halftime.
Neither team shot especially well in the first half with Sun Prairie converting just 4 of 19 attempts, compared to 12 of 33 for Parker. The Cardinals, however, hurt themselves with 14 turnovers, while the Vikings only had five.
Stephanie Haight, the lone Sun Prairie player in double figures with 13 points, scored the first basket of the third quarter. But Parker again took charge with another 10-0 run, including five points from Flood and four from Jenny Newlin.
Leading 44-23 entering the final quarter, Parker gave up the initial basket before scoring 11 straight points, including seven by O’Leary. The 11-0 spurt built the Vikings’ lead to 55-25, with both coaches going to the bench after that.
With a game remaining against last-place Madison East to wrap up another Big Eight title, Klawitter said it’s been a tough stretch.
“We’ve struggled a little bit recently, but certainly give a lot of credit to the opponents we’ve faced the last couple of weeks,” he said. “There’s certainly a few things we can clean up on, but I like the direction we’re heading.”
PARKER 63, SUN PRAIRIE 34
Parker (63)—Prom, 0-1-1; Klawitter, 2-1-5; McDonald, 2-0-4; Newlin, 2-0-4; O’Leary, 8-3-22; Flood, 6-0-14; Martelle, 0-2-2; Koebler, 1-1-3; Quillman, 3-0-6; Miland, 1-0-2. Totals: 25-8-63.
Sun Prairie (34)—Rodenkirch, 2-0-6; Haight, 5-3-13; Wiersman, 1-0-2; Yakey, 1-0-2; Albi, 4-0-9; Kraus, 0-2-2. Totals: 13-5-34.
Janesville Parker 16 12 16 19—63
Sun Prairie 4 7 12 11—34
Three-point goals—Parker 5 (O’Leary 3, Flood 2), Sun Prairie 3 (Rodenkirch 21, Albi). Free throws missed—Parker 8, Sun Prairie 2. Total fouls—Parker 13, Sun Prairie 15.
Sophomores—Parker 39, Sun Prairie 34.